The lecture scrutinizes some of the endeavors by Ayurvedic practitioners to survive as well as to preserve their family medical legacy by manufacturing products other than Ayurvedic medicines. In the process of shifting to cosmetics production, the practitioners become successful entrepreneurs in the field of Ayurvedic cosmetics and toiletry products. The transformation of Ayurveda from a medicinal field to a cosmetic field was fascinating in many ways because, until the early nineteenth century, the division between a cosmetic and a medicinal product was a very fine line within Ayurveda. The historical conditions that force indigenous medical practitioners to move into the production and selling of a cosmetic product and the kinds of claims that practitioners make to market their products are some of the concerns that this lecture intends to address.
Dr. K.P. Girija is the Consultant and Co-ordinator of Narayana Guru Digital Research Resource Platform (NGDRRP), a project envisaged by Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay and Sree Narayana Guru College of Commerce, Mumbai. She is the author of the book, Mapping the history of Ayurveda: Culture, Hegemony and the Rhetoric of Diversity published by Routledge India in 2022.